Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fun is Fun and Done is Done

"As soon as man is born he begins to die"

This quote on the hat of a prepubescent girl on the subway train, who most likely hadn't the slightest idea what it says, let alone what it meant.
I have been thinking about this a lot since then.

At first, I was shocked at the blunt reality of it.
Then, I felt depressed.  I mean, it's true. We are dying from the moment we are born, and our life's journey has only one possible inevitable destination - death.  It awaits us all: rich or poor, black or white.  There is no avoidance of this.

The more I thought about it, however, the more I changed from feeling depressed to feeling motivated.  All life is precious, and like all precious things, it has value because it is finite.

The fact that we are dying immediately from the moment we are born should help us to remain focused, and not to waste our time on things which are not worth our time - negative emotions, negative people, negative habits.  Mae West famously quoted, "we only live once, but if we live right once is enough".  So what is "living right"?

For everyone, this answer must be slightly different.  In my case, I am grateful for having fulfilled my basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, health for myself and my family, I can consider increasing the quality of my life as a key objective in achieving and maintaining my happiness.

I want to spend as much time as possible doing the things I love: I love Kali (and teaching Kali), I love helping people, I love solving problems, I love to talk and discuss with people.  I am a communicator.  I love reading and writing.  I love learning new things.  I love cooking.  I love my dogs.  I love the beach. I love to travel.  I love learning languages.  I love music.  I love to help people feel better and more motivated.  I love to laugh and I love a good joke.  I love to be a catalyst in helping people decide to change and improve their lives.

I want to pack as much of those things into my life as I can.

At the same time, I would not be happy unless I had challenges to help me grow.  I need to have challenges which force me out of my comfort zone.  Challenges which I can not only be accountable to solve, but also have responsibility to solve, by using my creativity and insight.
I need to have adventures which help me find out new things about myself.

Awareness of our own mortality should motivate us strongly to want to be productive and efficient, to set goals and go after them passionately.  It should help us focus on positive actions and empowerment rather than be consumed and distracted by anger, hatred, jealousy, or revenge.

In a few weeks I will be 47 years old.  Maybe I am halfway through my life already, maybe more. Hopefully less.  regardless, I know someday I will die, and I resolve to make the most I can out of this human experience this time.  I hope you will, too.

What do you think about that hat and the quote?  How does it make you feel?

Let me know.

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